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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'Add strength training and conditioning' - Advice from fitness trainer & top runner Tshepiso Khati

What sets Tshepiso Khati apart from most other physical trainers is that he doesn't just walk the talk - he runs it! The 25-year old who hails from Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape started life as a runner but found that he would have more impact on the lives of others by sharing his fitness training knowledge with others. So while he still runs (and wins races) TK as he is affectionately known, uses the skills he learnt while training himself to help other athletes to achieve their body goals.

Khati winning the Vitality Series Race Against Cancer with Orlando Athletics Club 21km race on 25 June. Photo Credit: Thsepiso Khati.

"I started running back in Primary School in 2007. That's where I saw that I have passion for running," he told #TheTopRunner. "I was performing very well, but then I stopped running for five years, from 2010 until 2015. It was only in 2016 that I committed to running again, until now," said the man who trained at Zoo Lake under Hendrick Ramaala alongside the likes of Precious Mashele.

TeeKaey poses with top runners Maxime Chaumeton and Precious Mashele after a training session at the Johannesburg Stadium in 2021. Photo Credit: MWMedia.

Yet even though he had recommitted himself to the sport, the Old Eds Athletic Club runner found it difficult to balance his work as a fitness trainer with the demands of being a full time athlete. As a result he spends much of his time training alone in order to work around his clients' schedules. Although this is less than ideal for anyone who wishes to succeed as an international elite athlete, because of his emphasis on core strength and form, Khati is still able to produce the results.

For those who want to improve their running coach TeeKay's message is simple; work on improving your strength. "When I talk about core strength, it's something that I had to witness myself," explained the man who was twelfth at the 2019 SA 10km Championships won the Orlando Athletics Club 21km Race for Cancer in late June.

"I used to think that to improve as a runner, all I had to do was run, run, run. Until I realised during lockdown that the more I did strength training and conditioning, it actually allowed me to perform better. By doing strength and conditioning for your core you have a better chance of running faster. Most of the time we tend to lose shape and form when we run, but with strength it balances you and you are in control of your body."

And for the man who is often seen training his clients in open parks in Johannesburg's leafy suburbs of Houghton, Parktown and the surrounds, he is adamant that one doesn't need fancy gym equipment to achieve results. "Most of the time I do outdoor personal training. We use outdoor spaces like parks or even the comfort of your home, even a parking lot. We do functional training which doesn't need any gym equipment. It's just a matter of using your own body and focus on body strength, agility and endurance that involves running," he said.

For more information contact Coach TK on 065 297 3833 or like his Facebook page Field Fitness.

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